Conflict Resolution and Sustainable Fisheries Governance in the Palk Bay of South Asia

Inauguration ceremony of the Conference on Conflict Resolutions the sustainable Development of fisheries in South Africa and South Asia.

The conference inauguration ceremony was held at the Senate Hall, University of Colombo, on the 21st January 2014.

The Palk Bay region has now become an arena of growing fisheries conflicts among Tamil Nadu and Sri Lankan fishers. This issue has grown into unmanageable proportions having serious political connotations. The livelihoods of thousands of fishing dependent households in the North of the country and the health of the Palk Bay ecosystem are under serious threat. A project, titled “Re-incorporating the Excluded – providing space for small scale fishers in the sustainable development of fisheries in South Africa and South Asia”, was initiated with the involvement of a group of researchers/ academic from a number of universities and institutes in Europe (Netherlands and UK), South Africa, India and Sri Lanka, to probe into the issue of fisheries conflicts in South Africa and South Asia, where Palk Bay was selected as the study location in South Asia.

As one of the diverse initiatives undertaken by the project, it was decided to organize a conference in Colombo, with the participation of the Universities of Colombo, Jaffna, Ruhuna, Ocean University and the University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands), and, hosted by their Vice Chancellors, aiming to provide a multi-disciplinary scientific understanding of the Palk Bay Fishers issue and make suggestions to move forward. An array of internationally renowned academics and fishers specialists, were participated in this meeting as resource persons.